Picture of Sean T. McLaughlin

Sean T. McLaughlin

Partner

Sean McLaughlin is a partner in the New Orleans office.  He is a first-chair trial attorney who has tried cases to conclusion in state courts, federal district courts, the United States court, and the State of Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals.  Sean has also personally argued appeals in state and federal courts.  He has specific subject matter experience in the areas of energy, maritime, and construction.  Sean primarily represents clients in litigation involving breach of contract, tax liabilities, high-exposure personal injury, and contractual indemnity/additional insured status.  Sean practices in the admiralty and maritime, energy, construction, commercial litigation, and tax groups.

Sean is listed in Louisiana Super Lawyers as a Rising Star for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Representative Experience
  • First-chaired Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals trial in a franchise tax matter involving base issues and sourcing issues; obtained seven-figure relief for our client.
  • First-chaired state court trial in a commercial lease matter involving the tenant’s claim against the landlord for anticipatory breach and failure to honor an alleged option; obtained a favorable ruling for our client; briefed and personally argued the appeal to the Louisiana Fourth Circuit and prevailed; obtained a denial of further review from the Louisiana Supreme Court.
  • First-chaired United States Tax Court trial in a matter involving the propriety of the client taking a multimillion-dollar bad debt deduction; obtained a favorable ruling for our client.
  • First-chaired state court trial for a matter related to the client’s alleged non-compliance with a local ordinance; obtained a favorable ruling for our client.
  • Second-chaired federal court trial for a major energy company in a case involving a platform fatality and a new legal issue related to the extension of the LHWCA to the Outer Continental Shelf; briefed and personally argued the appeal to the United States Fifth Circuit.
  • Second-chaired federal court trial for a maritime matter involving an engine failure on an offshore tug; obtained a full defense ruling.
  • Second-chaired federal court trial for a commercial matter involving a rogue employee who committed fraud; obtained a full defense verdict.
  • Second-chaired state court trial in a Jones Act matter where the plaintiff sought several million in alleged damages; obtained a full defense verdict.
  • Third-chaired federal court trial in a maritime breach of contract matter.
  • Third-chaired state court preliminary injunction hearing in a public bid law matter.
  • Obtained a settlement of over $1,000,000 for our client in a state court matter involving a claim for additional compensation to a governmental entity due to differing site conditions on a complex underwater construction project.
  • Obtained a favorable ruling for our client regarding insurance coverage for an alleged major casualty (facility explosion) with several million in alleged damages.
  • Obtained a summary dismissal for our energy company client in a Texas state court matter involving alleged brain injuries.
  • Successfully defended the removal of an asbestos matter to federal court under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act for our major energy company client.
  • Obtained summary dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims for our energy company client in an offshore personal injury matter based upon the applicability of Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
  • Successfully expanded the scope of Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act removal jurisdiction to a matter involving alleged asbestos exposure on a non-OCSLA situs.
  • Obtained summary dismissal of the subrogated insurer’s federal court claims against our construction client in a commercial property damages matter.
  • Obtained summary dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims against our client by utilizing the prior settlement agreement and order entered in a related LHWCA proceedings and defended same to the United States Fifth Circuit.
  • Obtained indemnity for our client via summary judgment in an offshore personal injury matter involving several million dollars of alleged damages by successfully arguing that the Louisiana Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act did not nullify the indemnity obligation because the contract did not “pertain to a well.”
  • Obtained dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims for non-pecuniary damages in a case arising out of the sinking of a pleasure yacht.
  • Obtained summary dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims against our client in an offshore personal injury matter.  The matter subsequently went to trial against another defendant and the plaintiff was awarded over $4,000,000.
  • Successfully defended our client’s title to a vessel by obtaining summary dismissal of the other alleged owner’s claim and defended same to the United States Fifth Circuit.
  • Obtained summary judgment for our national transportation company client finding that the public body violated the Louisiana public integrity statutes and was therefore liable for attorney’s fees and defended same to the United States Fifth Circuit.
Subject Matter Experience 
  • Representation of marine and energy companies in personal injury and contractual matters
  • Representation of energy companies in matters regarding the scope and extent of their obligations under leases and operating agreements, including abandonment and decommissioning liabilities.
  • Representation of clients in matters involving the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), including removal and jurisdictional issues and application of its choice of law provisions
  • Representation of taxpayers in litigation before the United States Tax Court, the State of Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals, Louisiana state courts, and other tribunals.
  • Representation of clients in matters involving their obligation to provide or right to obtain indemnity or insurance in complex commercial and personal injury matters
  • Representation of clients in matters involving the potential application of the Louisiana Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act, the Louisiana Construction Anti-Indemnity Act, and the Texas Anti-Indemnity Act, and the various exceptions to same
  • Representation of clients in matters related to the Longshore and Harbors Workers Compensation Act
  • Representation of claimants to the United States Coast Guard Oil Spill Liability Fund seeking reimbursement for statutory removal expenses
  • Representation of contractors and governmental entities in matters involving statutory immunities and public projects
  • Representation of clients in challenges to contract awards under the Louisiana Public Bid Law and federal law
  • Representation of clients in construction lien matters, including claims under the Miller Act and Louisiana law
  • Representation of clients in matters involving differing site conditions and claims for additional compensation
  • Representation of clients in contract disputes with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  • Representation of clients in contract disputes before the United States Governmental Accountability Office (GAO)
  • Representation of clients in commercial lease disputes
Education

Sean earned his B.A. in Sociology from Louisiana State University in 2005. He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, in 2008 from the LSU Law Center where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Louisiana Law Review. During law school, Sean clerked for the Louisiana Department of Justice and the Legislative Bureau of the Louisiana Senate. In addition, Sean also externed with the Honorable Judge James J. Brady of the United States Middle District Court.

Admissions
  • Admitted, Louisiana, 2008; United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana, 2008; United States Tax Court, 2017; United States Supreme Court
Memberships
  • New Orleans, Louisiana State and Federal Bar Associations
Articles, Publications and Presentations
Community Service
  • Past Member, Race Judicata Planning Committee
  • Past Mentor, College Admission Project
Super Lawyers
Super Lawyers